I haven’t spoken to many people who haven’t been to Barcelona, and those who haven’t, usually want to go. Visiting Barcelona is one of those things that is on a lot of bucket lists around the world. I’m quite happy to say it’s one thing that I have done and I’ve ticked off my list!
I went to Barcelona nine years ago (crikey that went fast!). I went for my Sister’s hen weekend. It was somewhere that she had always wanted to go and so off we went for a long weekend.
We had a lovely time, although I have to be honest, it wasn’t without its dramas. But more about that later. I’m here today to give you a few tips for your visit and a few ideas of things to do whilst visiting Barcelona.
A choice of accommodation
Like anywhere, there are many options when it comes to where to stay during your visit. If you want the more relaxed option you could go for serviced apartments in Barcelona. Free to come and go as you please with the luxury of a spacious living area, kitchen, dining, bedroom and bathroom. You’ll really get the feeling of a home from home.
Of course, if this isn’t what you fancy, you can go down the hotel route, of which there are plenty to choose from.
Ask anyone about Barcelona and they won’t fail to mention the famous promenade that runs from Plaça de Catalunya down to the Columbus Monument at the waterfront. It’s just one of those things you have to do if you’re a tourist! A hustling bustling 1.2-kilometre strip of shops, stalls, restaurants, bars and street performers. It’s a fantastic sight and one that’s not to be missed, however, it can have its negatives.
The ‘drama’ that I mentioned earlier is related to the not-so-pleasant side of Barcelona. I had an unfortunate experience late at night on Las Ramblas after a night out whereby I was approached by some young men who took an interest in my mobile phone. They didn’t get away with it, but it was enough to frighten me. Pickpockets are rife around Las Ramblas so please, if you are visiting Barcelona, take extra care and read up on keeping safe. But above all, don’t let this put you off. I was just unlucky and it wouldn’t stop me from returning.
Visit the Sagrada Família
Nine years ago when I visited, the Sagrada Familia was surrounded by scaffolding, which was a real shame, but it was still a sight to behold. Designed by Antoni Gaudí, it combines several architectural styles including Art Nouveau, Catalan Modernism and Spanish Late-Gothic. It’s an unfinished masterpiece but when it’s finally complete it’s spires will be the tallest church building in the world. And it certainly doesn’t resemble any other type of religious building you’ll ever see in the world.
Think of Barcelona and you think of a city centre, I’m sure. But we mustn’t forget the beachfront boardwalk that stretches for miles. The westernmost beaches are more touristy and very busy, but if you walk further, past the Olympic Port you’ll find it a lot quieter, are more ‘local’. There are some lovely beach bars down there too if you fancy a cocktail or two in the sunshine!
Take a bus tour
There is a lot to see when visiting Barcelona, so if you think you’re feet aren’t up to the challenge, I would highly recommend jumping on a bus and viewing the sights from a rooftop bus. We did this, complete with headphones and it was really enjoyable. You’ll likely see Camp Nou, the FC Barcelona football ground amongst many other sights including the Casa Batlló and the Casa Milà, two more buildings designed by Gaudí.
This is just a taster of things to do and be aware of when visiting Barcelona. It’s a truly beautiful city and one that I am very pleased to say that I’ve experienced. The positives by far outweigh those negatives I mentioned and I would highly recommend that you add it to your bucket list, if it isn’t there already.
Have you been to Barcelona? What was your experience? Perhaps you can add some ‘must-see’ things to do to this list? Let me know in the comments.
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